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All Hail The Audible

Businesses can learn plenty from watching some of the greatest sports teams play the game. Teamwork, of course, is a lesson derived from observing a group of men or women hustle together to claim victory. We can witness the setting aside of egos, and the ability to anticipate a teammate's next move, lead them to the winner's circle. These are nuggets; every business should apply to its building towards success. However, the world of sports has so much more to instill.

Let's take American football, for example. The leader of the team is called the quarterback who takes the field with the offense. Before any play, there's a huddle. The quarterback's job in this grouping with his teammate is to communicate the play the coach has called. This mental blueprint is well known to every player on the field. However, when the opposing team catches wind of the play, the quarterback must go into his bags of tricks.

This is the moment where the audible can make all the difference. Quarterbacks can audibilize, or change the play at the line of scrimmage. Even though the defense has figured out the next move of the offense, an audible allows them to continue towards the end zone despite their opponents being properly aligned to stop the original play.

The audible is a brilliant plan B or alternative to execute when any opposition goes toe-to-toe with our organizations. When there is a direct threat to strategies and tactics set forth to move business forward, it is necessary and vital to have additional plays ready to be deployed at any given time. To do so requires a different mindset and way of functioning.

You see, when the defense is positioned just right to ensure the offensive play is a fail, the offense doesn't panic, neither do they see this as a distribution. The fact that football teams utilize audibles tells us that they don't expect every play to go as planned. It isn't foreign to them to arrive at a moment in the game where a bait-and-switch is necessary. It is how the game is played.

In our business and marketing planning, we need to be comfortable with and prepared for all surprises. As a matter of fact, if we thought like the quarterback, we wouldn't see the unplanned as surprises or even disruptions. We would just be ready for it. We would know that the road to winning isn't happening in a straight line. There are third and fourth downs always. Sometimes, there is even overtime. Again, not seen by the players as an interruption, just the way the game is played.

Let's make one more adjustment to our planning perception, aided by the teachings of the audible. Notice that the offense uses this skillful method. It's not the defensive team that calls the audible. You see, the defense is reactive. They must respond to the plays executed by the offense. Of course, they have studied, trained, and practiced to eliminate the progress of their opponent. Yet, they do all this in response to how the offense may or may not perform.

When the offense takes the field, they are in charge. They begin as the leaders on those 100 yards. The job of the defense is to dethrone them. The point is, the offense is in a proactive role. They are forcing their competitor to play their game and when that defense is on to them... BOOM! Here comes the audible.

Take charge from the onset. Get your audibles ready now. Today is a day of new mindsets. We don't get to the endzone in the first down. It's uncommon.

Listen, the world we are all experiencing right now is screaming at us not to wait. Take the word disruption out of your vocab immediately. There are no surprises. It's just the way the game is played.


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